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Know your audience

Know your audience. Learn to read the room. A large component of effective communication is the ability to read a room and speak effectively to the people in the room.  How do we coach our leaders to understand the importance of reading a room? 

Coach your business leaders to understand why the ability to read a room is important. Knowing your audience can allow you to tailor the message for the audience. You can create your content to effectively impact more people in the room. If your message is not tailored to the listener, you will lose their interest and your message will be lost. If you are speaking directly to the people in the room, if you know your audience, your message will resonate and become more impactful.

How do you read the room?
  • Do some research. Prior to your presentation, learn everything you can about the attendees. 
  • Have a thorough understanding of the message you want to convey. Put yourself in the listeners position, or better yet, test your presentation on a sample group.
  • Try to get a little personal so you can be relatable. Chat with some attendees prior to your presentation. Try to get a feel for the type of people attending.
  • Watch your audience during your presentation. You will be able to tell if they are engaged. After the presentation, ask for some feedback. What worked, what didn’t work? You can adjust for the next time. 
Some tips for keeping the room engaged:
  • No one wins every race. You will not engage everyone in the room. The goal is to effectively get your message to as many people as possible. 
  • Speak to their level.
  • Create a message specifically for this presentation. You want something fresh. Don’t use a canned, generic presentation.
  • If your group asks questions, listen. Do not listen to respond. Just listen. Carefully think through your response. 
  • It is okay not to know everything, in fact, it makes you human. If you commit to getting back to someone, keep your word.
  • Be humble. No one likes arrogance, especially from a know-it-all speaker. You want to be knowledgeable and confident. You do not want to talk over their heads or worse, you do not want to talk to them as if they know nothing.
  • Engage the audiece in your presentation by interacting with them.
  • Maintain eye contact. If you are not looking at them, why should they look at you?
  • Practice!
Remember, communication is only effective if the message was received and understood.